Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Studio Space

I don't always get to hear stories about what happens after an author visit. But when I do, it's incredibly gratifying. I recently started sharing images of my studio space during my presentations. I talk so much about how I make my work, I wanted to show just where I work. This image came in from a mother and was accompanied by this note, "They rushed through homework and ran up to their rooms to prepare an 'art area' like today's author had at his home."

Man, I just love this so much. I loved making books and comics after school when I was a kid.

15 Years of Books

Sometimes the right kid finds the right book, and you're lucky enough to have written that book!
Isaiah was born the year that my first book (Good Night, Monkey Boy) was published, he celebrated his fifth birthday with a Punk Farm theme and he's just about to turn fifteen! I'm so impressed to see the young man that he has grown into, and glad to see that he has the same anarchic sense of style. And he's an artist—he designed that T-shirt he's wearing!
It's astounding to see my readers grow up. Definitely an unexpected benefit of keeping at it in this book business.

Beverly Cleary

On Sunday, April 3rd, I'll be hosting a celebration of Beverly Cleary's work at Symphony Space in New York City. It's in honor of Ms. Cleary's 100th birthday and will benefit Team First Book New York City.
I'll be bringing along my childhood copy of THE MOUSE AND THE MOTORCYCLE, it has never left my bookshelf. And further proof of the power of giving a book to a child—this book was given to me by the PTA at my old elementary school.

Jeff KinneyR.J Palacio and Tony DiTerlizzi will be on hand to offer appreciations, and celebrated actors will read from Ms. Cleary's books.

Meltdown 2016

Thanks to all who came out to Meltdown 2016! Some folks traveled across town, some across state lines! Here are a few photos from the day. We'll do it again on the last Saturday of March in 2017!

For more photos click here!

What a Welcome!

I have been welcomed to schools with some insanely creative displays recently on my author visits. It's an embarrassment of riches, and I so appreciate all of the efforts—it all looked like a ton of work!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Meltdown author interviews on the radio!

Per annual tradition, the authors attending Meltdown were interviewed on WRSI The River in the days leading up to Meltdown! Monte Belmonte, superlative human being, radio DJ and program director over at the station, conducts lively and engaging interviews. Enjoy these great kid-lit radio pieces!

 I chatted with Monte about how Meltdown became a thing here in Western Massachusetts:

Author Molly Burnham on quitting her day job to become a full-time author, and her early days of attained Meltdown in her pre-published days:

Bob Shea on the importance of words and pictures, and when Lane Smith is the right illustrator for the job:

Ame Dyckman on finding your true self and her custom-made wolf ears:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

School Visits

I had a few inquiries on what I bring with me on my school visits. 
I walk in with two things: an iPad mini and this pencil bag. 
I use an iPad mini for travel, and all of my presentations are on Keynote. I also use the iPad's camera to project live video footage of me drawing if the room is really large. 
My entire presentation is on a cloud should the worst case scenario present itself. 
In the pencil bag:
• Two dongles. (I hate that word, but that's what these adapters are called.) One plugs the iPad into HDMI cables, one into RGB cables. You just never know what the school may have, and I don't depend on them to have these. (And note that they are labeled, because I can be forgetful.)
Some schools have an Apple TV with AirPlay set up, but I share videos. And videos and AirPlay are not yet BFFs from my experiences. 
• A charger for my tech. 
• Fine point Sharpies (black and silver) for signing books and a large Sharpie for when I draw during the presentation. (I do ask schools to have these on their end, too, just in case.) 
• A stamp with my website and a drawing marker. I create a bookmark for the schools to copy. This way every kid walks away with something. (I treasured a mimeographed copy of Jack Gantos's signature that I was given in third grade on his author visit.)
• Altoids so that the kids that I talk to won't forever be scarred because the author's breath smelled like nasty coffee...
And that's it. It's a far cry from the days when I needed to find overhead space on the flight for my slide carousel...
For their convenience, I give the schools a checklist of the supplies I need from them. (Who doesn't like to check items off a list?!) It's a pretty basics list—screen, projector, easel with paper, etc.

Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!

People with pugs will know what this is like.

To see more visit

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Meltdown—a free book and music festival in Northampton, MA on Saturday, March 26!

Next Saturday! The River's Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash will be here! Here are the authors that Gina and I have lined up. We can't wait for these fantastic people to do their thing for our community here in Western Massachusetts! For the full schedule, which includes all of the amazing bands programmed by Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child, download this PDF:…/93/files/2016/03/Meltdown-program-2016.pdf

Here is the radio commercial that is airing to help promote this great community event. The entire Krosoczka family chipped in to record this one!

And now, a special message from the Krosoczka family about Meltdown 2016 in Northampton.Make it a road trip for The River's Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash!

Posted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka on Friday, March 18, 2016

Grace Lin's TED Talk—a MUST watch for anybody who works with young readers!

"A book can show you the world...It can also show you a reflection of yourself."

My pal, author/illustrator Grace Lin, has given a poignant TED Talk on the importance of keeping a bookshelf filled with diverse books. This is twelve minutes that should be watched by anybody working with young readers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Platypus Police Squad

I was quietly working in the studio when I suddenly had the feeling that I wasn't alone. Like there was a child actor, improv star, director, producer, writer, camera crew, writer, director of photography, audio team and makeup artist in the room with me.

Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!

Our weekend mornings have been spent sketching by the picture window while listening to records. My good fortune is not lost on me.

To see more visit

School Visit

Love what this kid said to me at a school today. "I don't really read books, but man, you make 'em great!"
I'll hold on to that quote!

(And yes, I travel light when visiting schools—an iPad mini and a pencil case for markers and every possible adapter I'd need to plug into the AV system.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Local news puts the spotlight on School Lunch Heroes

School Lunch Hero Day is coming up—May 6th!

Last year, several local news affiliates profiled school nutrition professionals working in their communities. Here are a few of them. The love that these women have for their jobs and their kids is incredibly inspiring.

Photo © WIVB4

Click here to watch the moving video from La Crosse, WI.

The team at Depew Union School District were also given the spotlight on School Lunch Hero Day last year. Check out the video below to see what the kids did and how the "lunch ladies" reacted. If you would like to help put the spotlight on the hard work being done in your school cafeteria, you can find a modifiable press release here:

Read Across America

Check out the Ellis Elementary office staff on Read Across America Day! Color me honored! #PunkFarm

School Lunch Hero Day

School Lunch Hero Day is on May 6th! I'll be live in my studio for a free webcast!
We'll talk about writing, illustrating and celebrating the hard-working School Lunch Heroes in our nation's cafeterias!
We'll be live at 10 A.M. and 1 P.M. EST here:

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

First Book

If you are at a Title 1 school, I sure hope that you are connected to First Book
In even further evidence of their awesomeness, they will give 100,000 books to the state that gets the most votes. Seriously, the power is in your hands! Vote for YOUR state to get 100,000 new books from First Book! 

Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!

Fiddling with digital brushes to create semi-realistic portraits of my characters. First up—Lunch Lady.

To see more visit